Greenville NC Designated a SmART City

GREENVILLE, NC - The Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge is pleased to announce that Greenville, NC will be the next SmART City in North Carolina.  The Pitt County Arts Council will receive the grant through the SmART Initiatives  program administered by the North Carolina Arts Council.  They will receive staff and consultant assistance to plan for a project that will transform the Uptown Greenville district through the arts.  This will be a $15,000 grant for the first year, and then it can increase to $30,000 a year for 3-4 more years.

Through the SmART Initiative, communities:

  • Work as a partnership that includes the arts, economic development sector, local government and private developers.
  • Create a local resource team that works with N.C. Arts Council staff and expert consultants.
  • Envision plans broad enough in scope and scale to transform the community in a significant way, reflect its unique characteristics and demonstrate strong potential for sustainable economic development.
  • Engage community and key stakeholders through public and individual meetings and focus groups.
  • Develop a fundraising plan that seeks contributions from private, federal and other state sources for implementation of projects.

The Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge will create a SmART City Resource Team including members from the following partners: The City of Greenville, Pitt County and the Pitt County Development Commission, Uptown Greenville, the Greenville-Pitt County Convention & Visitors Bureau, East Carolina University, and private developers in the area.  This Resource Team will work with the North Carolina Arts Council to plan a project that will have a major impact on the economic development of the Uptown Greenville district.

Holly Garriott, executive director of the Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge says, "We are looking forward to advocating the Uptown Greenville district using the arts as a vehicle for a transformative plan.  This will solidify that Greenville is the cultural hub of eastern North Carolina, and bring important partners to the table to show the power of the arts when it comes economic development."

The nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $18,111,847 in annual economic activity in Pitt County, NC, supporting 882 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $1,558,000 in local and state government revenues, according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 national economic impact study conducted in 2015.  Results show that nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent $12,689,847 during fiscal year 2015.  This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services and acquire assets within their community.  Those dollars, in turn, generated $17,525,000 in household income for local residents and $1,558,000 in local and state government revenues.

"The arts are such an important component in helping to create a sense of place for communities across our country," states Andrew Schmidt, executive director of the Greenville-Pitt County Convention & Visitors Bureau.  "We look forward to working with the Pitt County Arts Council to further activate the arts and help enhance the cultural component for our destination for both our visitors and residents."

Currently, the following cities and towns are SmART Cities: Durham, Wilson, Kinston, and Burnsville.  More information can be found at:

For more information about the Pitt County Arts Council located at Emerge Gallery, call 252.551-6947 or visit